1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

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“Children need to hear a thousand stories before they can begin to learn to read.

Or the same story a thousand times!”

~ from acclaimed children’s author Mem Fox’s Ten Read-Aloud Commandments

What is it?
1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a nationwide early literacy initiative that encourages families to read to their young children and to use the resources available to them at their public libraries. Additionally, the program encourages family bonding through reading.
Why 1,000 books?
This milestone is based upon research showing that the more children hear books read aloud to them the more prepared they are to learn to read on their own when they enter kindergarten. It’s designed to be both challenging and achievable! Check out this article on four ways reading picturebooks with children prepares them for future learning.
How can we read 1,000 books?
1,000 books sure sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? It’s easier than you think!

  • 1 book a day for 3 years = 1,000+ books
  • 10 books a week for 2 years = 1,000+ books
  • 3 books a day for 1 year = 1,000+ books
And every book counts!

  • Every book you read counts every time you read it. Repeat readings of a bedtime favorite can add up quickly!
  • Storytime books count. Make sure to keep track of books others (including librarians and other caregivers) read to your children!
  • Imagine how many books you can read with your children if you start right at (or even before!) birth!

How does it work?
It’s simple! Come to the Children’s Room to register for the program and get your first reading log. When you finish your first 100 books come show us your log. We’ll give you an achievement sticker and you’ll get to put your name on our milestone wall!
Every 100 books you read will earn you an achievement sticker, with some other special prizes along the way! After you read 250 books you’ll receive your very own library book bag with our special NH 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten logo.
When you complete the program you’ll be invited to our yearly celebration of literacy honoring all who’ve completed the program in the past year.
We’ll give you reading logs for each 100 books, but for an easy way to keep track of which books you’ve read (and how many), check out the FREE 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten app, available on both iPhone and Android smartphones. It allows you to search for a book or scan its barcode to add it to your library.
Misplaced your log or want to get a start on your next one? Download it here!
Who can participate?
Children from birth through age 6 are invited to take on the challenge! 

Happy reading!